Arts Lab Programme

A professional development programme for performing artists providing training, a space to create new work and a platform from which to showcase talent. The programme combined performance training, with hands on training in arts leadership, management, production and arts-for-development.

Following needs assessment amongst performing artists – largely actors and dancers, Arts Lab was conceived in response. What was needed, artists said, was training in creating and producing new work. Arts Lab provided professional development to 2 arts managers and 20 upcoming professional performance artists through:

  • Hands on training in devising new work: performer as creator.
  • Arts management, producing: linked directly to product.
  • Hands on training in diversifying income base through applied arts: using the arts for development, facilitation, forum theatre, marketing & commercial events.
  • Indirectly providing arts management training to 5 key performance-based arts companies in Harare: Tumbuka Dance Company, New Horizons, Savanna Trust, X-Lab, NKM Theatre Initiative

Click here to see Pilot Report



  • Certified six week training for 24 performers in devising, facilitation and public engagement.
  • The House that We Built forum theatre project promoting good governance and freedom of expression.
  • Launch of The Arts Lab showcase December 2011 with continued funding for 2012 and 2013
  • Mentorship of 14 practitioners in applied arts programme & proposal development
  • Diversifying individual practitioner’s portfolio – establishing 14 arts-for-development projects
  • Establishment of 5 community arts clubs in high density areas in Harare
  • HIV and AIDS awareness raising performance for GIZ and ZGS Flame Festival
  • Community Arts Programme to improve child protection in high density areas around Harare Zimbabwe for Community Arts Lab
  • The Bed in Her Head a performance project interrogating the barriers to intimacy and equality in relationships in partnership with The British Council
  • Establishment of Arts Lab SADC Exchange cultural development programme for Pro Helvetia in partnership with British Council and Savanna Trust.

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